Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
It’s Self Care Week (14 – 20th November) and we’re looking at ways in which we can make sure we look after our minds and bodies, so that we can live life to our fullest potential. By choosing the best for ourselves, we may do good for others!
What is ‘Self Care’?
Put simply, it means taking care of ourselves – physically, emotionally and mentally! By making sure we are happy, healthy and full of positive thoughts, this enables us to make the right decisions for ourselves; we are able to support those around us; are healthy enough to live life to our fullest potential and don’t fall ill because we aren’t doing what is best for us. How many times have we heard people becoming ill due to stress? Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Although some stress is necessary to push ourselves and grow, but continued tension can lead to illness or disease!
“Self care” means choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques, pursuing creative outlets, etc. It means to put ourselves at the top of our priority list, which is sometimes hard in a modern society, or when you’re a parent. Being pulled in different directions, we often forget just to slow down and look at “what works best for me?”
So What Can We Do?
Self care is not self indulgent, self care is self respect. Start by saying ‘yes’ to things you want to do and ‘no’ to things you don’t. It may seem simple, but putting your opinion and needs first is making sure your health and mental wellbeing is looked after. You give yourself the basic respect you deserve.
The food we eat; the people we surround ourselves with; the words we use; the thoughts we think… these all contribute to positive wellbeing. Letting go of things that no longer serve us is a fantastic way to improve overall health, becoming aware of those things is a great way to start. Looking at our inner thoughts and the words we use also affects wellbeing. Talk to and treat yourself you would a friend or a child – allow yourself time to do things you enjoy, be kind to yourself, look for the good in all you do, go to bed early, spend time with people you love.
Here are some easy tips to make us more aware of simple ways to introduce a ‘self care mindset’ into our everyday lives.
“Many parents today are overwhelmed with the stresses of family life. In fact, a lot of parents feel like they’re just treading water trying to keep up with the daily tasks associated with caring for children. Being a parent is not easy—it can feel as though we’re constantly focused on our children: feeding, clothing, teaching, disciplining and more all day long. But are you taking time to focus on yourself, too?” Being compassionate for ourselves means we can be compassionate for others. What we do for ourselves ultimately improves what we can do for others (when we make sure we are full, happy and healthy mentally and physically, first). Remember, “you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first!”
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